Chromebooks are a great tool for integrating technology in the classroom. They’re low cost, have a long lifespan, and your IT staff has a wide range of management tools that keep them up and running, even without a visit to the support team.
These 10 teacher tips and tricks that you may not have known about Chromebooks illustrate their potential for success in a number of different settings, both in and out of the classroom.
1. They’re fast.
Chromebooks boot up in about 10 seconds, and a 2015 report from IDC found that they need 90 percent fewer reboots than other educational computers. This means your Chromebooks are ready to go in a snap, and your students won’t waste a ton of time rebooting in the middle of class. Battery life is also great, so you won’t have to keep reminding students to plug in.
2. The Chrome Web Store has a ton of educational apps.
Students can use educational games and learning tools to practice core curriculum skills and learn a foreign language with a wide selection of free and low-cost educational apps for many age groups.
3. Collaboration is baked in.
With Google Apps for Education, students can collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and presentations — even editing the same document at the same time without running into version control issues. They can also use compatible advanced collaboration tools such as SMART amp to create shared workspaces where they can post facts, research and projects for others to review and comment on.
4. You can run Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.
Chromebooks come with built-in tools for documents, spreadsheets, presentations and image editing, but sometimes you may need to use your more familiar tools.
Microsoft Online offers free access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Although it doesn’t offer all the features of the full version, it covers what your students are more likely to need — or what you need to create classroom documents. And many schools with an educational license for Adobe’s Creative Cloud can run Photoshop in the cloud to edit photos like a pro.
5. Minecraft is available for Chromebooks.
Do you and your students love using Minecraft to explore the rules of world-building? You can download Minecraft from the Chrome Web Store and go to town as Steve or Alex.
6. You can use voice search.
You know those commercials where people say, “OK, Google,” to ask their phones questions? You and your students can do that on your Chromebook — just click the button to enable “OK, Google” in the Settings.
7. They can run offline.
An internet connection is a key component of a Chromebook, as many of the documents are stored online (and with unlimited storage space in Google Apps for Education, the cloud is the best place for most files). But many apps can run offline — just click the “Runs Offline” button in the Chrome Web Store to find which ones.
8. Even young students can use them.
As long as a student knows letters and can type a bit, they can use a Chromebook. And, with the shift to online assessments, it’s a good idea to get even the youngest students comfortable interacting with computers in the classroom so they won’t be distracted by the novelty of it. And for students whose parents don’t have a computer at home, this early experience with a computer can be critical to helping them be successful on these tests as they get older.
9. You and your students can access your files on any device.
When documents are saved to the cloud using Google Drive, your students can use Chromebooks, the library computer or a computer at home to continue working on files, no matter where they are or what type of device they’re using. This is huge for students who aren’t able to take their classroom Chromebooks home, as the environment will be similar regardless of location.
10. Up to 17 people can use the same Chromebook.
In classrooms where students share devices, the teacher can simply click “Add Person” to get their account info entered into the machine so they can easily access all of their files and apps. And the guest user option allows students to do internet research and other tasks without even needing to sign in.
These teacher tips illustrate the expansive capabilities Chromebooks offer both teachers and students. Their ease of management and ability to support seamless student collaboration make them an effective choice for integrating technology in the classroom.
In addition to the above benefits, Chromebooks are also a low-cost option for school districts. Find out in this eBook how they win the total cost of ownership battle.